The Best Things We Ate This Week

A running list of the best dishes we’ve had recently.
The Best Things We Ate This Week image

photo credit: Carlo Mantuano

New York City is open for outdoor dining and partial indoor service, which means there are thousands of restaurants where you can eat today (including places with heat lamps so you can stay warm outside). But if you can’t decide where to start, or you’d rather order something great for takeout, we totally understand. That’s why we’re highlighting the best dishes we’ve had recently, all of which are available for takeout, delivery, and/or in-person dining right now. From an alcapurria to a new vodka pie, here’s a look into our personal food journals.

If you’ve had a great dish that you want to share with our team, send us an email at Now, on to the dishes.

The Dishes



$$$$Perfect For:Coffee & A Light BiteSerious Take-Out Operation
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Khaliat Alnahl

“A combination of cheese, pastry, and honey can do no wrong. And yet, the khaliat alnahl from this new Yemeni coffee spot in Williamsburg took that trifecta to a whole new level. The pastry is stuffed with cream cheese, toasted in the oven, and then drizzled with honey right when it comes out of the oven. I finally tried it this past weekend after a pleasant, not-too-windy stroll over the Williamsburg Bridge, and will absolutely be back for a coffee and more pastries.”

- Carlo Mantuano, Staff Editor

Vodka-Roni Pie

“Belucci’s pepperoni vodka slice looks nothing like any other vodka slice I’ve eaten in my lifetime. Rather than baking the pie with sauce, they pour it over the slice after it’s done — resulting in a stream of creamy, rich flavor as a topping instead of a base. It’s messy. It’s daring. And I thoroughly enjoyed gobbling it down right outside of this new-ish slice shop in Astoria on a sunny Friday afternoon. Impressively, the crispy pepperoni cups, fresh mozzarella, and crunchy pizza crust all held their own under all that liquid.”

- Nikko Duren, Staff Writer

Dandelion Pancake

“It was very cold outside, so I was craving a big pot of stew. To my surprise, O:N°’s Korean gomtang hot pot with beef bone broth and brisket wasn’t the highlight of the meal - their dandelion pancake appetizer was. A thick earthy paste made from dandelion greens is spread onto the fried pancake, which is then topped with sunchokes, raisins, hazelnuts, crunchy chips made from sunchokes, and a sprinkle of parmesan on top. Each triangle slice tastes nutty and sweet. Plus the plate arrives with a side of tiny pickled cauliflower florets that make the pancake taste even brighter.”

- Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Chicken Milanesa Torta

“Before Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak formed R&B super-duo Silk Sonic, another iconic mashup blew my mind - the chicken milanesa torta from the people behind Wildair on a sourdough baguette from Winner. It had a limited run at a dinner pop-up inside the Park Slope bakery, but we’re hoping that it returns as a permanent menu item sometime in the future. The crunchy and tangy baguette existed in perfect harmony with the crispy fried chicken cutlet, while the tomato and avocado kept the whole thing creamy and cool.”

- Nikko Duren, Staff Writer

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“If anybody knows me, they’ve probably heard me talk (extensively) about how much I love Essex Market. It’s where I grocery shop every week, and it’s the place that connected me to the history and community of the LES when I moved to the neighborhood four years ago. Besides just picking up bunches of kale and pints of ricotta, I’m always grabbing snacks from one of the many vendors. My latest was from Que Chevere, a small Puerto Rican spot located downstairs that sells empanadas, mofongo, and their hearty, under-$4 alcapurria. This loaded, very filling, fried ball of yucca and ground beef is crunchy, but tender inside and tastes even better when doused in their spicy green sauce. Order two and you’ve got yourself dinner.”

- Carlo Mantuano, Staff Editor

Chix Sandwich

“When I recently came across an image of The Fly’s excellent chicken sandwich, I cupped a hand over my mouth to keep myself from screaming. It was as if the sandwich equivalent of my soulmate had been hiding in plain sight for years. The next day, I ordered one, mostly to prove to myself that I wasn’t dreaming. And as it turns out, good things come to those who lay awake at night scrolling in bed. It’s filled with tons of juicy pulled chicken that seems to have been marinated in just enough spice to slightly numb your mouth, plus some pickled radish and slaw on a fluffy potato roll that would make a good pillow substitute.”

-Nikko Duren, Staff Writer

Roast pork and pigs feet over rice and beans

“If you’re looking to spend under $15 on a very filling, delicious meal near the Lower East Side, Sandy’s Coffee Shop needs to be on your radar. This Dominican spot under the Williamsburg bridge on Delancey serves all types of fried fish and chicken, empanadas, and different stewed meats. On a recent visit, I opted for two types of pork - hunks of the roasted variety and pig’s feet in tomato sauce - over rice, peas, and beans. The roast pork was citrusy and charred, the pig’s feet were pleasantly gelatinous and rich, while the rice, peas, and beans soaked up all the flavors. I even added on a pasteles en hoja and a couple of empanadas to my order and my total still clocked in under $15 - this is a lunch move I’ll be working into the regular rotation.”

-Carlo Mantuano, Staff Editor

3 Great Dominican Restaurants In The East Village image

NYC Guide

3 Great Dominican Restaurants In The East Village

Gnocco Fritto

“I went to Rezdôra in 28-degree weather with nothing but pasta on the brain. But I trotted home thinking about this appetizer. (And my toes, which had all but unionized, demanding better treatment and extended time off from their leader.) Three hollow discs of dough are puffed up to order, and each is finished with a little beret of prosciutto, capicola, and mortadella - respectively. Regardless of the cured meat featured in any individual bite, every second with this trio feels like a socially-undistanced retreat where flaky pastry and salty-fatty meat exist in equilibrium. When you bite into each puff, its hollow insides begin to deflate, sending a waft of hot pastry steam directly into your mouth. Don’t try to choose which is your favorite. You don’t have to. You get to eat them all.”

- Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Freaky Friday Big Mac Style Fried Chicken Sandwich

“Let’s get one thing clear, McDonald’s did a good thing for humanity when it debuted the ‘Big Mac’ concept. As a kid, I used to recreate this double-decker sandwich with two McChickens and garnish the leftover bun with ketchup and french fries. So when I saw Comfortland’s new take on the classic burger made with fried chicken, I felt a level of mental clarity I haven’t experienced in years. And thankfully, this thing is in a whole different league than the fried chicken creation I grew up on. The crispy chicken is juicy and tender, and the seeded bun holds its own amongst several layers of melted cheese and creamy special sauce.”

-Nikko Duren, NYC Staff Writer

Rice Pudding

“I have a deep love of rice pudding, so much so that I once tried to smuggle a tub of KozyShack onto a plane, only for it to be confiscated by TSA, because “liquid.” So imagine my excitement when I saw this dessert on the menu of one of our favorite restaurants of 2019, Zooba. Besides just having a great Restaurant Week deal, this fast-casual Egyptian spot serves a rice pudding with pulled halva and crushed pistachios that’s then sweetened up with some orange zest and blue agave. The result is what I will now hold all rice puddings to, as it’s got a bit of crunch from the pistachios, some zing from the zest, and isn’t overly sweet even though the cotton candy-like strings of halva sit atop the rice baked in milk. TSA can confiscate this one over my dead body.”


Oxtail Pizza

“Look, this might sound like some fusion concept gone awry, but hear me out. Jamaican oxtail on pizza is excellent. At this Flatbush spot, the tender meat is deboned and the flavorful broth is spread generously over the full circumference of the Neapolitan pie. On a cold winter night, this Italian and Caribbean mashup dish gave me some much-needed comfort. And as a passionate crust-eater, I enjoyed dipping the leftover bread in the pool of oxtail jus covering the empty pizza box.”


Chicken katsu sandwich

“Even though there aren’t appearances of katsu sandwiches on our best fried chicken sandwich guide, Evil Katsu has the potential to be the first included. This pop-up out of Pretty Ricky’s on Rivington and Ludlow serves their sandos on very fluffy white bread, with shredded red cabbage and carrots, and the perfect amount of nori Kewpie mayo. It reminds me of why I love sandwiches that have so many textures going on - first you get the poofiness of the milk bread that’s miles better than any white bread, then crispiness of the still-juicy chicken, the crunch of the vegetables, and finally the creamy mayo. The creation is quite big, but is one of those sandwiches you just can’t put down.”


The Best Fried Chicken Sandwiches In NYC image

NYC Guide

The Best Fried Chicken Sandwiches In NYC

Birria Tacos

“Serving quesabirria with smoked brisket was a big risk for Emily in Clinton Hill. Making great pizza has virtually nothing to do with cooking beef birria tacos with melted cheese. I did some digging via the restaurant’s Instagram and discovered that Chef Sammy Pico, who has also been preparing the incredible “Emmy burger” with dry-aged beef since May, is responsible for the birria. While that didn’t necessarily ease my fears, I decided to go for it anyway. And I’m glad I did because that man knows his beef. The smoky meat tastes like it’s been slow-cooking in a pot for days, and while I wish the tortillas were pre-dipped, I did enjoy the thoughtful charring along their crunchy edges.”


Red Miso Chawanmushi with Mushrooms

“Typically, I’m not a mushroom girl. But I’ve always wanted to try the particular breed of fungi that Maison Yaki grows in the blue-lit case above its bar. During a recent dinner at Olmsted (their sister restaurant across the street), I finally got my chance. The chawanmushi egg custard on their new winter menu is topped with five mushrooms from Maison Yaki, which were roasted and sprinkled with smoked trout roe. Beyond ranking among the most beautiful things I’ve eaten this year, this combination of crunchy mushrooms, sweet and salty roe, and silky egg custard boosted my endorphins with every bite. Turns out these special mushrooms were well worth the wait.”


Massaman curry with shredded beef

“Nine times out of ten when my girlfriend and I discuss where to get takeout, deep down I’m craving Thai food. I can’t always indulge this urge because of my job and, you know, relationship compromise. But recently on a frigid evening, I went and picked up a couple of things to try from 7 Elephants - a new takeout-only Thai spot on East Broadway. While their green curry is spicy and savory and the crispy curry rolls are an excellent appetizer, your order here needs to be the massaman curry with shredded beef. The peanutty, rich curry is a perfect combo with the stringy beef - you get a perfect blend of tender meat and hunks of fat, which combine for a hearty dinner on a cold night.”


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